I have started the editing process for Aperture, the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2016, about a week and a half ago. Here are the steps I am following:

  1. Read and revise first draft — Reading through the novel with fresh eyes has given me a better sense of what needs to be removed and added, as well as any plot holes. While reading, I add notes about grammatical issues, confusing sentences, section I want to remove, and sections I want to rewrite. I’m aiming to finish this step by the end of February.
  2. Build a team — Once I’m done revising the first draft, I would like to hire an editor and proofreader. I’ll need to see what my budget is when the time comes, but I’d like to at least find an editor for the book.
  3. Go through the revision process — Based on feedback from the editor and/or proofreader, I’ll make adjustments. Then it’ll be time to release the book.

During the editing process, I’ll begin to create a rough plan for releasing and marketing the book. Once the editing process wraps up I will work on formatting the book for digital and print, design the cover, and begin marketing the book. I’d imagine I’ll change the title to something more descriptive and unique than a single word.

How It Has Been Going

Reading the novel has been pretty enjoyable. I’ve noticed some typos and cringe-worthy lines, but I don’t loathe what I wrote. I’m still excited to work on it and inch it closer to publication. During the waiting period between finishing the first draft and beginning the editing process, I was worried I would read the first draft and feel so embarrassed that I wouldn’t want to work on the project. I’m glad that hasn’t been the case.

Since Aperture is my first novel and was written to reach a specific word count within a month, there is quite a bit of filler in it. NaNoWriMo discourages self-editing, so I opted to write what came to mind and not think twice about it. While this worked well for reaching my goal last November, it feels as if I have made the editing process more difficult. I can’t help but wonder if editing the book would be easier if I had been more critical about what I initially wrote.

Next Steps

I have a good sense of what steps I need to take to self-publish the book, even though certain steps are a bit hazy. I’ll learn as I go. My ultimate goal with Aperture is to learn how to write and publish a book, as well as stay true to the idea of the story. I’ll be sure to share what I learn.

I’m not concerned about the sales numbers or income. Realistically, I have little to no audience, so I’m not expecting thousands of sales. I am interested in tracking numbers and setting goals, so here’s what I am aiming for with Aperture’s first year:

  • 24 physical copies sold
  • 100 digital sales across all platforms (Kindle, iBooks, etc.)
  • 1000 downloads and/or views of the free digital version

I pulled those numbers out of thin air, so it’ll be interesting to revisit them a year after the book is published to see how it turned out.

Time to get back to it.